2014 Civil War Study

The biennial Quilt Studies have become a popular part of the American Quilt Study Group’s activities. Participation is a voluntary undertaking by AQSG members. Responding to a selected theme, a quilt is created which is copied from, or inspired by, an existing antique quilt. Each Participant is asked to provide an image of their inspiration and write a statement about what was learned through the process of creating their own quilt.

This 2014 Quilt Study theme was Civil War Quilts. All inspiration quilts were required to be identifiable as a 'Civil War Quilt' defined as a quilt made between the years 1850-1865 for purpose of this Quilt Study. It is up to each Participant to determine their own construction methods for their projects based upon information available about the original quilt. The Study Quilts are limited to a 200” perimeter.

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Honoring Civil War Veterans
by: Carol W. Gebel

44” x 44”Honoring Civil War Veterans

I found my inspiration quilt in my own collection. I had purchased it from a dealer in Illinois, largely because of two factors: its beautiful mid-nineteenth century fabrics and its names on each block, except for one. This quilt, utilizing the Snowflake block, is a friendship quilt with names. There are no signatures since the names are not inscribed by hand but stamped in ink using individual letters. Each person’s name is accompanied by a place name.

I call this quilt the Conklin quilt for the farm in Illinois where the antique dealer purchased the quilt, although the place names on it are in New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. Genealogical research revealed that some of the men on the quilt served in the Civil War and that some of the women who are unmarried on the quilt married Civil War veterans.

I decided to make a nine block quilt with blocks large enough so I could print the names of these Civil War veterans in the center square of each block. I printed the names by hand. I used reproduction fabrics that reflected the colors and print styles of the Conklin quilt. I hand quilted it using the same simple by-the-piece quilting of the original. As I cut and then joined the piece together, I was reminded that edges cut on the bias can definitely stretch and that when cutting stripes, one needs to consider the placement of the piece in the block to get the stripe’s direction to appear as one wants.


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